OPINION: The Problem with Shein and Fast Fashion Crochet


Shein is a clothing company based out of Nanjing, China. It is widely known for affordable clothing and its targeted promotion towards young women on social media. But, like every clothing company, Shein has their issues. 

According to an article from Eco-stylist.com, Shein is the definition of “fast fashion.” 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, fast fashion is defined as inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. 

Shein has been accused of exploiting workers for their products and stealing from other brands. 

According to an article from Dazed.com, Shein often steals from designers and they sell the exact same product at a cheaper cost or they change one small thing on the design and sell it. Most of the time, Shein targets small, independent designers. 

Because Shein is a large retailer, these designers feel like they can’t keep up. 

Shein is also one of the biggest brands for fast fashion crochet. Shein has a wide variety of crocheted products sold at a very low cost. These pieces usually range between $3-15. 

Crochet cannot be manufactured by machines. It can only be made by hand and from experience as both a self-taught knitter and crocheter, it is very time-consuming. Especially when it comes to making garments such as halter tops and sweaters. 

Many small handmade businesses sell knitted and crocheted items within the $15-200 range on sites such as Depop and Etsy, depending on the product. 

According to CNN Style, garment workers overseas are paid 18 cents for a $33 shirt they made.  

 Think about it, if garment workers are only paid 18 cents for a $33 shirt they made, they are more than likely getting next to nothing for a garment that is priced at $3-$15 dollars and usually takes hours or sometimes days to make. 

If people keep buying crocheted garments from Shein, this encourages Shein to steal from small designers and exploit their workers. 

If you want a handmade garment, support small businesses here in Wichita such as Swiss Pointe Designs and Scrunchie Bunnie. You can also learn to make your own garments by buying patterns from small businesses or you can use free written patterns and tutorials on YouTube and learn how to make it yourself.